December 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- There are many hazards out there for drivers in the San Francisco area and while some can be avoided through driving defensively, there are other situations that a driver has no control over and simply cannot prevent. One of these hazards can be tractor-trailers and when a trucking company or a truck driver acts in a negligent manner, a serious truck accident
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, tractor-trailers were involved in accidents that killed 3,373 people during 2011, equaling 10 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. When a collision occurs between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle it is usually the occupants of the vehicle who pay the price.
Food distraction cited as cause for fatal truck accident
Earlier this year, a fatal truck accident occurred outside of Davis on Interstate 80 according to KCRA. According to law enforcement, the driver of a tractor-trailer lost consciousness when he choked on food he was eating while driving. The semi traveled across the highway lanes, hitting two vehicles and then colliding head-on with a third vehicle going the opposite way.
The crash resulted in the death of two people in the third vehicle and injuries
to the driver of the semi and two other people. The two injured victims were expected to be okay; their injuries were considered to be moderate and minor. The driver did regain consciousness just before hitting the third vehicle but was unable to do anything to prevent the final collision.
Distraction a growing concern for truckers
When people think about driver distraction, it is usually associated with actions such as texting and talking on a cell phone. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study in 2009 that focused on distraction behaviors among commercial drivers. That study revealed that there were several types of distractions that affect commercial drivers and raise the risk of an accident occurring. The study made the following findings:
- Dashboard instruments should be redesigned to reduce the time that drivers take their eyes off of the road.
- Drivers should not use maps in any way while the vehicle is in motion.
- Drivers should not engage in texting or manually dial a cell phone while driving.
- Fleet safety managers should emphasize the risks that distracted behaviors create.
- Policies should be developed that discourage distracted behavior.
- Fleet safety managers should increase their awareness of what devices their drivers may be bringing with them.
Shortly after this study came out, the FMCSA officially banned the practice of texting by commercial drivers and in 2011 followed that policy with an additional ban on the use of hand-held cell phones. The FMCSA encourages all commercial drivers to be aware of distractions that can take their attention off of their task of driving. These distractions include eating, drinking, fixating on external objects, smoking, using maps and even adjusting radio dials.
When someone is injured because of the actions of a truck driver, that person should contact an experienced attorney for help in seeking appropriate compensation.
Visit us at sanfrancisco-caraccidentlawyer.com/